‘Big Bang’ Is a Misleading Moniker

Big BangWhile many are calling Americans stupid this week simply because 51 percent of the nation is skeptical about the validity of the Big Bang Theory; as it turns out, they may be on to something according to the man who named the theory of how the universe started, who was a non-believer himself. The moniker, Big Bang, is misleading and this is why.

When Sir Fred Hoyle named the theory in 1949, he was essentially being sarcastic. The astronomer disliked the theory. In two words, he diminished what is a rather complex explanation of how the universe was born. He was likely on board with most astronomers at that time. The idea that the universe could or would expand was considered ludicrous.

In 1931, Georges Lemaitre, a physicist and priest from Belgium, introduced what we now call the Big Bang Theory. Lemaitre did not call it that. Originally written in French, when the title of his paper is translated into English, it reads as A Homogeneous Universe of Constant Mass and Growing Radius Accounting for the Radial Velocity of Extragalactic Nebulae. Though not quite as catchy, the title clearly portrays more closely what this theory is attempting to explain.

Lemaitre was not the only one who was of the conviction that the universe was not static. Edwin Hubble was seeing proof of this through his telescope in California; far away galaxies seemed to be moving away from Earth. Plus, the farther away any given galaxy was, the faster it appeared to be moving.

Lemaitre applied some reason to the idea that the universe was getting bigger. At some point of time in the past, the universe was much smaller. Going even further back, Lemaitre concluded that there must have been one single pinpoint in time when the universe was just that: a pinpoint, or what he referred to as a primeval atom. When this single particle exploded approximately 13.8 billion years ago, the known universe was born. Even with this watered-down version, it is unmistakable that the moniker Big Bang is erroneous and misleading.

The contention that Americans are stupid because they have difficulty believing in not only the Big Bang Theory, but evolutionary theory and global warming, is indicative of arrogance. Truly, none of those three ideas have been proven beyond a doubt. In the final analysis, there may be a serious problem with semantics at work here. Like Sir Fred Hoyle’s Big Bang, global warming is turning out to be more of an issue of overall climate change. As well, the idea of evolution is proving itself to be a “sticky wicket” and too simplified for how DNA actually operates.

Perhaps the folks at Minute Physics, a scientific You Tube channel, can help straighten out all of this confusion. They suggest an appropriate replacement for the Big Bang name would be “The Everywhere Stretch Theory.” Minute Physics also has an idea about how to better explain “singularity,” the concept that states all matter in the universe existed in that primeval atom. While taking a humorous approach, these suggestions could go a long way toward helping the average American gain a better understanding of a theory of which they are rightfully skeptical. Americans are not stupid, they just know bad branding when they see it. The Big Bang moniker is misleading, erroneous, oversimplified and should indeed be replaced.

Opinion By Stacy Lamy








One Response to "‘Big Bang’ Is a Misleading Moniker"

  1. Philip Bruce Heywood   April 26, 2014 at 5:04 am

    No scientist technically ‘believes in evolution’. Quite a few believe that species were unrolled or revealed over time. The vast majority of respected foundational scientists of course were creationist in the dictionary meaning. (Not the ANSWERS IN GENESIS meaning.) No scientist in his right mind ever believed that one species gives birth to another, as we understand ‘birth’. A sequence of species revealed over time, yes….. but, what process was involved? Just try to find a scientist who will publish on how dogs give birth to cats! When push comes to shove, and the froth and verbal foam subside …… the simple facts are that evolution the sequential revelation of species, was calmly accepted fact until Darwin came along and politics and religion were given an open pathway. Sir Richard Owen, palaeontologist, had already presented to the highest learned bodies in England the obvious fact that species appeared to be transformers (the archetype concept.) Darwin/Wallace pushed ahead notwithstanding Owen. Wallace, incidentally, was an open and avowed spiritist of some category or other. Darwin found himself being advised by a spiritist, concurrently advized caution by his wife (a level headed churchgoer), and championed by the man who invented the term, ‘agnostic’. T.H. Huxley, originally opposed to Darwin’s concept, embraced it only by effectively discounting it — introducing his own idea of Nature mysteriously ‘making leaps’ [he employed Latin here]. How Nature made the ‘leaps’, he had no idea. Owen had the futuristic idea of divinely pre-programmed info.tech., which is obviously how it did happen. Lamarck, discounted by Darwin, may in fact have contributed something on that head, although the technology is recent and ground breaking (indicated via quantum info.tech. and Epigenetics?). To cap it all, Huxley was not averse to quoting Scripture as it suited, upheld the Bible as the Book of democracy, admitted he was nevertheless not in any personal relationship with its Author, brawled with Owen — possibly with reason — and called W. Booth (Salvation Army) some sort of ‘anti-christ’! Meanwhile, Lord Kelvin, physicist, churchgoer, the champion of scientific scepticism, Faraday, humble christian beloved of all men and lauded by Einstein as a genius — the great physicists of that era — basically expressed puzzlement, scepticism, or declined to comment because of lack of technical data. Science, after all, is based on mathematics/physics, not the whimsies of people with an idea, torn between their wife, a spiritist, and a politico-religious brawler. Any of this sound familiar? Global warming? No usable climate model in Physics, plenty of brawl. No mathematically formulated basis in mathematics or existing laws (= science) plenty of politics and religion. The Big Bang? An entirely different proposition. But, so much noise coming from the other two, no-one can hear it. All these topics of course are covered and addressed in the Bible, incidentally. Just don’t ask ANSWERS IN GENESIS! More brawl!


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